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Home » Articles »   By MaryAnn Johanson
 

Film Reviews

Men in Black III

The third time's a return to charm

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // May 24,2012 - If dying is easy, and comedy is hard, science-fiction comedy is even harder. In this tiny subgenre, 1997’s Men in Black—about extraterrestrial refugees living among the population of New York City

Film Reviews

Battleship

The same ol' destructo-porn

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // May 18,2012 - Space nerds send a signal to a distant star system that looks a lot like ours in Battleship—and, like, days later, here’s the away team from Planet Facehugger come to steal all our bubblegum.

Film Reviews

Safe

Bloody mayhem and a subtle grand sweep

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Apr 27,2012 - Those who crave the usual Jason Statham experience—as seen in Death Race, the Transporter flicks, etc.—will still love Safe; it’s brutally violent, and features lots of bloody mayhem

Film Reviews

Titanic Revisited

Not just girl stuff—it's human stuff

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Mar 30,2012 - The Hunger Games is on track to be one of the most successful films—critically, as well as financially—of 2012, but even before it opened, caveats were being lobbed.

Film Reviews

Safe House

Utterly vapid CIA action porn

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Feb 10,2012 - Woo-hoo, it’s CIA action porn when Safe House finally gets going, all mysterious black SUVs and “kill the surveillance cameras” and stoic badassery all around.

Film Reviews

Haywire

A lot of fight, but little punch

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jan 20,2012 - We’ve seen this movie before: Secret agent/gun for hire/covert badass gets burned. Who did it? The bad guys? The colleagues? The boss? Our Hero has to work hard and fast to pull his own ass out of a fire

DVDs

And the Nominees Were ...

Earlier work from 2011's Oscar noms

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jan 9,2012 - It’s the most wonderful time of the year—when we movie lovers try to second-guess the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Film Reviews

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Thrillingly intelligent minimalist espionage

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Jan 6,2012 - I haven’t read Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John le Carré’s iconic novel of Cold War espionage and—if this sleek, elegant film has it right—repressed male emotion.

Film Reviews

Tower Heist

Goofy but satisfying high-concept

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Nov 4,2011 - For a critic, there are few pleasures more satisfying than ripping into a bad movie. But one of those few is discovering that a film that you were expecting to hate

Film Reviews

The Three Musketeers

No spirit, no heart, no fun

By MaryAnn Johanson
POSTED // Oct 21,2011 - There are luscious possibilities in the notion of a gearpunk Three Musketeers. This movie posits a secret hiding place in Venice in which Leonardo da Vinci hid all his plans for cool crap
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